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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never been one to put much stock in this. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with believing, don't get me wrong, but like religion, I'm the type who is on the fence about these kinds of things.

Sometimes I read them though, and so close to the end of the year there is the release of the overall expectations of each sign. I will admit, many things said about my sign (Taurus) do apply to me as a person.

What kind of struck me today though is what it said for my sign in the coming year. I've been at this for about a year and a half now, at least as far as actually putting my work out there (I've been writing since I first picked up a pen). What kind of struck me is that, according to the one I read, the last two years have been bad for business under my sign.

With planetary movement and such, this is supposed to be the year where business turns around for me. I've definitely struggled since I began. I've received great feedback, but only single digit sales in all but one month of that year and a half.

I'm not saying that's universally true. Another Taurus will probably appear and say they are a best seller. Maybe for once I want to believe though. I want to think that it could finally click, and people will go "Wow, how did I miss these books all this time?"

One can hope right?

How do you feel about astrology? Hokum? Or are the invisible forces of the universe working on our lives?
 

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I read my horoscope when I need to know what's NOT going to happen for me.

ETA:  Ah, found one that I like:
"This could definitely be one of the best career years ever for you, Aquarius"

Yay me.

 

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Benjamin A. said:
I've never been one to put much stock in this. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with believing, don't get me wrong, but like religion, I'm the type who is on the fence about these kinds of things.

Sometimes I read them though, and so close to the end of the year there is the release of the overall expectations of each sign. I will admit, many things said about my sign (Taurus) do apply to me as a person.

What kind of struck me today though is what it said for my sign in the coming year. I've been at this for about a year and a half now, at least as far as actually putting my work out there (I've been writing since I first picked up a pen). What kind of struck me is that, according to the one I read, the last two years have been bad for business under my sign.

With planetary movement and such, this is supposed to be the year where business turns around for me. I've definitely struggled since I began. I've received great feedback, but only single digit sales in all but one month of that year and a half.

I'm not saying that's universally true. Another Taurus will probably appear and say they are a best seller. Maybe for once I want to believe though. I want to think that it could finally click, and people will go "Wow, how did I miss these books all this time?"

One can hope right?

How do you feel about astrology? Hokum? Or are the invisible forces of the universe working on our lives?
Of course it is hokum. Do you really believe that every Taurus had the same things happen in their lives last year? Do you believe that when we travel to other planets our lives stop or our romantic inclinations change because no planets or constellations are making a particular angular connection above us? Even astrologers cannot agree - read a half dozen horoscopes for a particular person and see how much variation exists from astrologer to astrologer.
 

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The Irish comedian, Dara OBriein, does a HILARIOUS take on astrology in his new DVD "Craic Dealer." [And for those of you that are worried, craic is an irish word for fun.]
He basically likens astrology to racisim, in that it casts baseless gross generalisations on people who are grouped together by a random common factor ie their date of birth. Of course the humour is in his argument and explanation but if you get the chance, seek out the video.
PS Dara knows his stuff, I believe his has a physics degree and he co-hosted a program on the BBC with Brian Cox on astronomy.
 

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Quiss said:
I read my horoscope when I need to know what's NOT going to happen for me.

ETA: Ah, found one that I like:
"This could definitely be one of the best career years ever for you, Aquarius"

Yay me.
As a fellow Aquarius, I'm quite pleased to hear that. On the other hand, there's that troublesome hedge in the "could".
 

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When I argue the hokum-ness of astrology, people will ask me my birth date. And then they say "Oh, but you're a Sagittarius. They are ALWAYS unbelieving"

*bangs head on keyboard*

I prefer to study astronomy. Seriously, have two letters ever made such a huge difference in meaning, implied meaning and life outlook?
 

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Astrology is sheer hokum. It depends on coincidence and the tendency of the human mind to interpret even the vaguest statements in ways that make sense.
 

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I've had to, out of necessity, learn a bit more about astrophysics. Neil deGrasse Tyson is my god because he can explain these things in a way that I can actually understand.
He had a nifty bit on Astrology once. Wish I had kept it.
 

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Sigh. As a veteran instructor of our college's entry level astronomy course, I see my work is not yet done.

However, before I go off on a rant about astrology (and it's a good one taking approximately 45 min. from three pages of notes), perhaps it's well to reflect that for us authors, maybe it's really a good thing humans are so creditable about so many things. Otherwise, where would I be when I need that good old, "willing suspension of disbelief" in my story line?

As a "Taurus," I'm well know for my bull. Ask any student.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
DarkScribe said:
Of course it is hokum. Do you really believe that every Taurus had the same things happen in their lives last year? Do you believe that when we travel to other planets our lives stop or our romantic inclinations change because no planets or constellations are making a particular angular connection above us? Even astrologers cannot agree - read a half dozen horoscopes for a particular person and see how much variation exists from astrologer to astrologer.
Variation in information doesn't make everyone incorrect. It happens in science too. Perception colors how we see things, whether it be religion, astrology, or reality itself. Just because some see it one way and some another doesn't mean any of them are right, or that all of them are wrong. Having an evolving perspective is crucial to true learning.

It was more of a just for fun conversation... I started out by saying I'm not a believer. I'm highly scientific first and foremost. I just happened to pass over an article, read it, and thought it might be fun to talk about. I can appreciate your point of view for sure, as it is certainly true that not everyone with the same sign experienced the same things.

But, consider for a moment removing the idea of a 100% ratio of effectiveness. Obviously where you are in life at that time, your choices, and many other factors are also going to determine what happens. That doesn't mean there isn't a possibility of something broader out there having an effect. As someone grounded in science, I wouldn't cast aside any idea that I can't disprove with absolute certainty, including God or planetary movements affecting our lives. I can't prove or disprove there are or aren't certain aspects that did or did not occur in the lives of those under any certain sign, even if all of them didn't experience all of the same things.

The banks of a river guide the flow of water, but so too does gravity, rocks in the river bed, geography of the land, the actions of man and animals that surround it, and much more. There is no single guiding force in this world for anything, but that doesn't mean there aren't things beyond our ken that can play a part. It always takes many sides to make a whole.

I'm closer to the hokum camp, but I always keep an open mind. The moment you decide something is impossible, you've also lost the ability to be objective. It was hokum that the Earth was round or that it wasn't the center of the universe for a long time. They were pretty sure too, yet now we know that to be the true hokum.

Just a bit of Devil's advocate. I kind of figured most would be against the idea, and I don't blame them. I'm surprised those in a type of work that thrives on imagination are so certain about every reality of this world. It makes me happy to think there are many things out there we don't understand, and things we may never be able to prove or truly know.

That's the great thing about imagination, the world is boring when everything is black and white.
 

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Oh, it is 100% true that science is coloured by perceptions, culture and importantly, established dogma.

But science:

- attempts to verify results by making processes by which the results were obtained verifiable and replicable
- encourages discussion/dissent about those results
- attempts to quantify results by replication and application of formulae and statistics

In other words, it usually starts with: If I poke this, this thing is likely to happen even though we do not quite understand why.

Have to admit that dogma sometimes acts like a kind of scientific religion, but if enough proof mounts up to the contrary, it will eventually be broken.
 

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I remember someone saying once (...I forget who, maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I tend to attribute a lot of cool sciencey stuff to him) - that the basis for astrology is flawed, because the position of the planets could have very little impact on your birth, because the gravitational forces they exert on the Earth are so pitiful compared to the sun (etc, etc).

I see astrology as basically a scattershot cold reading - say enough generalisations, and someone will go "oh hey, that's me!".
 

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The Sun Sign is the side you present to the world. Your rising sign, the sign that was coming over the horizon at the time you were born, is your true self and if you are going to read your daily horoscope, that is the sign you should be reading.

I won't get into a debate about the merits of Astrology, but I will say that unless you do it right, including proper placement of the planets in their houses and in relation to each other, plus the current movement of the planets in relation to their placement in your natal chart, you're not going to get a serious reading.

I don't do it anymore.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Patty Jansen said:
Oh, it is 100% true that science is coloured by perceptions, culture and importantly, established dogma.

But science:

- attempts to verify results by making processes by which the results were obtained verifiable and replicable
- encourages discussion/dissent about those results
- attempts to quantify results by replication and application of formulae and statistics

In other words, it usually starts with: If I poke this, this thing is likely to happen even though we do not quite understand why.

Have to admit that dogma sometimes acts like a kind of scientific religion, but if enough proof mounts up to the contrary, it will eventually be broken.
It sure does, but life is a funny thing, and not everything can be boiled down and re-created in the lab. Unless we go shift a planet and see if anything happens, there's no way to know for sure. Even then, man sticking his hand into it may nullify the results. Some things may be beyond our tampering.

Or they may not.

A valid point to be sure though.

Rin said:
I remember someone saying once (...I forget who, maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I tend to attribute a lot of cool sciencey stuff to him) - that the basis for astrology is flawed, because the position of the planets could have very little impact on your birth, because the gravitational forces they exert on the Earth are so pitiful compared to the sun (etc, etc).

I see astrology as basically a scattershot cold reading - say enough generalisations, and someone will go "oh hey, that's me!".
That's only assuming it's gravity that causes the changes claimed by astrology. If it's some unknown force such things may not matter. I see no reason why it would be gravity. It could be the reflection or blocking of a wavelength of light, or the combination of many things out there in space that we have no knowledge of. Maybe star X gives off an energy different from stars A, B, and C, and the path that energy takes is affected by surrounding stars and planets, or its very composition is altered by what is encountered between its origin and destination.

That's my point. Trying to attribute a cause requires understanding what causes it. If we have no knowledge of the force behind it, it will seem like there is no merit to the idea until new information is presented. The world was flat because no one could safely travel around and return. Once that new information was presented, i.e. someone traveling around and returning safely, our perspective changed. We knew they didn't drop off the edge when they didn't return, they had simply fallen victim to an accident.

Our understanding of the universe has come a long ways to be sure. Black holes, other galaxies, we've learned a lot. But we are nowhere near all the final answers. Superman gained his strength from the energy of our sun. Who is to say there aren't stars out there that can have an affect on us as well? Maybe no super powers (or maybe so, we can't know yet), but that doesn't mean we live surrounded by them unaffected.

Maybe I should add in at this point that I'm not interested in the human interpretation so much as the idea that forces out there could be affecting us. If astrology is real, I doubt we would have the necessary tools to truly understand and divine it.
 

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That is why I write science fiction.

We can take the existing science, extrapolate the ol "what if..." and then make stuff up.

The fun thing is that it's based on something real for a solid foundation. In that way, even astrology, if made plausible, is possible. But it has to have some basis, or we're into fantasy and magic genres. Also fun.
 

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I don't "believe" in astrology, but I do study it as a hobby because, well, it's fun.  :p I am quite a proud Libra, and my friends and I have some fun digs into each other based on our signs. (Ask my friend the Sag~) I also find that every best friend I've ever had falls into two signs (I've had a loooot of best friends over the year). Probably a coincidence, but it still makes me pause. So while I don't believe it like in a religious sense, I don't need to be hit over my head over and over again about its hokumness. I think, like with a lot of things, it can give people a starting point for considering their levels of optimism and their own personalities. It does get a bit annoying when people start shoving you into the boxes though.

That said, I do take astrology very seriously in one spot, and that's in choosing my characters' birthdays. I always know which sign I want my characters to be, and I usually end up being pretty happy with the outcome. I then, when I'm really bored, look up couples' romantic/sexual compatibility for a good laugh. Well, it's rarely been off!

I don't know what the Libra forecast is for 2013. I don't think I want to know. Probably more "you're gonna go bankrupt and be forever alone."
 

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In astrology (and I know the difference between it and astronomy), one must look at ALL aspects of a person's chart, not just the sun sign. It's extremely unlikely that two people would have the same chart, unless they were born at the exact same moment in the exact same place.

That said, the planets have but faint effect on our lives as planets. They do no emit some kind of cosmic force that makes us stubborn, or secretive, or what have you.

However.

Humans are pattern-seeking animals. We look for rhythms and cycles. Sometimes we find meaningful ones. Sometimes they mean nothing. The rhythm of the moon, for instance, means something. I cannot believe the female cycle is coincidental, and science acknowledges the moon's effect on tides and so on.

My own hunch is that there are biorhythms and historic rhythms that humans have over millennia mapped to plantary cycles. I have found my own chart and transits map rather uncannily to some major events in my life, including my near-death experience.

Any astrologer will tell you any forecast is what you make of it. If a forecast says you may get into a wreck, for example, you can be observant and drive extra-carefully; if you don't get into a wreck, you can't prove a negative. ;)

In the end, though, "The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves."
 
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